Background: In Sierra Leone, children ages 6-59 months receive twice-yearly vitamin A supplementation (VAS) through Maternal and Child Health Week (MCHW) events. VAS coverage in 2011 was calculated using government tally sheets of vitamin A capsule distribution and outdated population projections from the 2004 census. We conducted a national post-event coverage (PEC) survey to validate coverage and inform strategies to reach universal coverage of VAS in Sierra Leone. Methodology: Immediately following the November 2011 MCHW event, we conducted a national PEC survey by interviewing caregivers with children ages 6-59 months using a randomized 30X30 cluster design (N=900). We also interviewed one health worker and one community health worker in each cluster to determine their knowledge about VAS (N=60). Results: VAS coverage was 91.8% among children ages 6-59 months, which was lower than the 105.1% reported through tally sheets. Coverage was high and equitable among all districts and between age groups (98.5% for infants ages 6-11 months and 90.5% for children ages 12-59 months). Major reasons for not receiving VAS were that the child was out of the area (42.4%), the household was not visited by community health workers (28.0%), and the caretaker was not aware of the event (11.9%). Conclusion: Twice-yearly delivery of VAS through MCHW events achieved consistently high and equitable coverage in Sierra Leone. Universal coverage may be achieved through continued focus on communication and targeted outreach to hard-to-reach areas during the MCHWs.
Hodges, M. H., Sesay, F. F., Kamara, H. I., Turay, M., Koroma, A. S., Blankenship, J. L., & Katcher, H. I. (2013). High and equitable mass Vitamin A supplementation coverage in Sierra Leone: A post-event coverage survey. Global Health Science and Practice, 1(2), 172–179. https://doi.org/10.9745/GHSP-D-12-00005